Team-Building Games

You will find free samples of the Team-building Games found in these popular books below, or click on the Home page for PDF files of the sample games from both of these books.

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Who Did That!?!
(From the Mix It Up Chapter of the book "Team-building Activities for Every Group")

 

Objective
To learn more about each other and to generate interaction among group members.

Group Size
6 or more

Materials

  • Paper

  • Pens or pencils

Description
     Select three people prior to the activity and ask them each to write down one of their most embarrassing moments. When the activity starts ask these three people to stand or sit in front of the group and then have someone else read one of the embarrassing moments. Ask the audience members to begin asking questions of the three people in order to guess whose paper was read. The person whose paper was read must answer questions about the incident truthfully, but the other two may lie in order to try to fool the group. 
     After many questions have been asked, ask the audience members to vote for the person that they thought the embarrassing moment happened to. After everyone votes, ask the person whom the story was about to reveal him/herself.
     Several rounds of this game may be played with a different group of three people up front each time.

My Adjectives
(From the Mix It Up Chapter of the book "More Team-Building Activities for Every Group")


Objective
For group members to become acquainted with each other in a different way.

Group Size
6 or more

Materials

  • 3x5 cards

  • Marking pen

  • Music source

Description
     Prior to the activity make a pile of 3x5 cards with an adjective written  on each one.  Try to use as many different adjectives as possible. 
     Gather the group together and give three of the adjective cards to each person. Start playing some music and instruct the group members to go around the group and exchange cards with others until they are satisfied they have found three adjectives to describe themselves. Once a person has found three adjectives they are happy with they should sit down. You may need to have a few extra cards in a pile that people can trade with at the end if they haven’t been able to find cards they were satisfied with.
     When everyone is seated allow time for group members to share the cards they have and to explain why they chose those adjectives.

 

Pull Up
(From the Stir It Up Chapter of the book "Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

Objective
To include everyone in a fun game that mixes people up while at the same time creating a friendly guy versus girl competition.

Group Size
30 or more (with a good mix of guys and girls)

Materials

  • A music source (i.e. radio, stereo, etc.)

 

Description
     The group must sit down on the ground in a large circle. Ask for three girl volunteers and three guy volunteers to stand in the middle of the circle. Inform the group that this is a competition between guys and girls and that the way you get a point for your team is to make sure that there are more people from the opposite sex standing in the middle of the circle when the music stops.
     When the game starts, the music is playing and the guys and girls in the middle must each find someone of the opposite sex, grab his/her hand and pull him/her to a standing position, and then sit down in his/her place. This switching of places continues in a fast-paced manner and a person must stand when someone grabs his/her hand. 
     After a short time, stop the music and count the number of guys in the middle and the number of girls in the middle. The team that has the least number of people standing gets one point. Play several rounds of this game before declaring a winner. Start each new round with the people who are standing in the middle when the last round ended.

 

Baton Pass
(From the Stir It Up Chapter of the book "More Team-Building Activities for Every Group")

 

Objective

To increase the comfort level of the group.

Group Size
4 or more

Materials

  • Timer

  • Small baton-like item

Description
     Ask for four volunteers to come to the front of the room and give one of them a baton-like item (a paper towel roll will work). Select a category such as: Disney® cartoon characters, breakfast cereals, kinds of candy with chocolate in them, NFL® teams, US states, names of people in this group, books of the Bible, etc. Once the category is given set a timer for about 30 seconds. The person holding the baton must name something in the category and pass the baton to the next person, who must do the same. Players may not name something that has already been said. When the person keeping time yells “stop,” the person holding the baton is out and must sit down. Give the group a new category or let them continue with the same one. The last person left wins that round. You may play several rounds with different people.  

Variation

  • Have the group members say the words of the pledge of allegiance, a song, cheer, etc. The first person says the first word, the second person says the next word and so on down the line until someone makes a mistake.

 

Bid and Build
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
To work together as a team to build a bridge out of the objects your team obtains.

Group Size
4 to 20 participants is ideal

Materials

  • A large sheet of paper ( or chalkboard, dry erase board, etc.)

  • A writing utensil for the paper, chalkboard, or dry erase board

  • Various items that can be used or not used to get a group from point A to point B (i.e. Frisbees®, sheets of paper, rope, hula hoops, pieces of wood or cardboard, an old garbage can, a tumbling mat, or anything else you can find)

  • Paper

  • Pens or pencils

  • Optional: Play money

Description
     This activity is two teamwork activities in one! For the first part, list all the items that you have gathered on the large sheet of paper, display it for the group to see, and show them the items listed. Divide the group into at least two smaller teams of two or more and give each group a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Explain to the groups that their task is to attempt to get their entire team from one side of an open area to the other side (at least ten yards apart) using any of the items listed and without anyone on their team touching the ground at any time.
     First the teams must bid for the items listed. Each team gets 100 points (or $100 in play money) that they may spend however they wish on the items. They must divide up the points based on what they think will help them the most and write down their bids on the paper given to them. For example, one team may bid 75 points on the Frisbees, and 25 points on the rope. Another team may bid 50 points on the rope, 25 points on the Frisbees, 10 on the paper, and 15 on the cardboard.
     After all the bids are completed, collect them and divide up the materials based upon the highest bid. In the example, the first team would end up with the Frisbees and nothing else, but the second team would get the rope, paper, and cardboard. If there is a tie for any item, you may have the teams bid again on certain items or divide the items up if possible.
     Once the teams have their items, the second part of this teamwork activity occurs. They must now work together to get their entire team across the open area without any of the team members touching the ground in the process.

Discussion Prompts
1.    Was it hard for your team to agree on what numbers to bid? Why or why not?
2.    What did you do to come to an agreement?
3.    When you disagree with others how do you handle it?
4.    How do you feel about your ability to work with others after this activity?
5.    What role do you usually take when in a group that is making decisions? Do you feel this is a good role for you? Why?

Variation
This activity may be done for an art project as well. Teams must bid on items that can be used to create a piece of art.

 

Earthquake Escape
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
To build trust and to learn to work together in a situation in which people’s abilities and needs are different.

Group Size
6 to 10 participants (or break large groups into small groups of 6 to 10 each)

Materials

  • Cardboard

  • Small flat wood pieces

  • Cloth strips

  • Cotton balls

Description
     Explain to the group that there has just been a major earthquake and that many of the group members have sustained injuries. Select different group members to have different injuries and instruct them to act out these injuries during the course of the activity. One person may be deaf with cotton balls in his/her ears, another person is blind with a blindfold on. Someone may be unconscious and must lie on the ground. Others may have broken legs or arms with splints made out of cloth strips and cardboard or wood pieces, or you may tie someone’s arms to his/her side. You may or may not appoint one or more people to have no injuries.
     Once each person is set up with his/her injuries, tell the group you just got word that we are expecting aftershocks and they are in a dangerous area and must move to safety. Designate an area that has been declared safe at least twenty yards away. Prior to the activity, set up obstacles such as tables, overturned chairs, and other objects between the danger zone and the “safe area”. The group must move everyone to the safety area without causing any further injury.

Discussion Prompts
1.    How did you feel when helping others get to safety?
2.    How did you feel if others had to help you?
3.    Do you have any disabilities that require you to accept help from others? If so, how do you deal with this?
4.    How do you react to someone else who is working with you who has a disability that requires your help?

 

Blind Creations
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
To build group communication and trust.

Group Size
2 or more

Materials

  • Varies (paper and markers, blocks, Popsicle® sticks, Lego’s®, etc.)

Description
     There are several variations to this popular activity. One person creates a drawing, sculpture, design, etc. out of the materials given to him/her. The rest of the group is given a pile of the same materials and must work as a group to duplicate what the first person made by following his/her verbal directions. The person who made the drawing or object should not be able to see the group members and the group cannot see the direction-giver or the creation that he or she has created. You may allow the group members to ask questions or not. Once everyone thinks they have a copy of the original creation, allow both parties to view what the other has made. 

 

Discussion Prompts
1.    Was it easier to give or to receive directions? Why?
2.    Would it have been easier or harder to do this activity individually, rather than with a group? Why?
3.    How was communication used during this activity?
4.    Why is communication so important when in a group?
5.    Did everyone contribute to the project, or did a few people do most of the work? Why?
6.    Are you ever in a group where a few people take over? How do you feel about this?
7.    What can you do to help a group work together more effectively? 

 

Hula Walk
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book More Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
To promote teamwork and cooperation.

Group Size
3 or more

Materials

  • Several Hula-Hoops

 

Description
     Line group members up side by side, give them Hula-Hoops and have them connect themselves in the following manner: One person puts his/her right leg inside a Hula-Hoop. The person next to them puts their left leg inside the same hoop, pulling the hoop taut so that it isn’t dragging on the ground. That person then puts his/her right leg into another hoop, and so on, until the entire line of people is connected by Hula-Hoops. Those on the ends will have their outside leg free. Once everyone is connected the group must try to walk across a designated area without letting the hoops fall. This can also be done with two rows of people, one in the back and one in the front, all connected using the same hoops. Have smaller groups take turns if there aren’t very many hoops.

 

Discussion Prompts
1.    Was this easy or difficult for the group? Why?
2.    What obstacles did you encounter while doing this activity?
3.    Is it easier for you to overcome obstacles on your own or when with a group? Why?

 

Variation

  • Use string or elastic bands instead of hoops. 

 

Newscast
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book More Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
For people to work together to focus on the good qualities in themselves and others.

Group Size
5 or more

Materials

  • One video camera/ phone per team

 

Description
     Break the group into teams of five or six and give each group a video camera and videotape. Have each team use their camera to and create a newscast that everyone is a part of, that features each group member in a story, and that in some way highlights each persons best qualities, talents or skills. After a set time limit gather the groups back together and watch each newscast. You may need to limit the length of the newscasts so there is enough time to watch them all. 

Discussion Prompts
1.    Was it easier to do a story about others or about yourself?
2.    Did people in your group have a wide variety of good qualities?
3.    How important is it for teams to be full of people with a variety of talents and skills?
4.    Do you feel your talents are used to the fullest as a member of this group?
5.    How could you contribute more to the teams that you are on, given your unique talents, skills and attributes? 

Variation
Each group makes a newscast about the people of another team and highlights their best qualities. 

Group Clay Creations
(From the Team Up Chapter of the book More Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
For all group members to contribute to a joint project. 

Group Size
4 or more

Materials

  • Clay in various colors

  • Cardboard pieces or paper plates

Description
     Divide the group into teams of four to eight. (Make sure that there are not more people in each group than you have colors of clay.) Give each group clay in various colors. Each person must take one color of the clay (more than one if there are extra), and this color is the only color that this person can use for the entire activity. Each team must create a sculpture or scene (you may specify the type of scene, such as a town, park, family, etc.) out of the clay, with no sharing of clay with others. For instance, the team decides to make a car, the person with the black clay must make the tires and the person with gray can make some hubcaps, and so on. After each group has made their creation, have them name it and share it with the rest of the group. 

Discussion Prompts
1.    How did your group decide who got which color?
2.    Did some colors have more to do than others?
3.    Are you happy with your creation? Why or why not?
4.    Would this have been easier for you to do by yourself?
5.    Would this have been easier if everyone could use any of the colors? Would everyone have contributed the same amount? Why or why not?
6.    Do people usually have an equal part in all group projects? 

 

Snowball Fight
(From the Open Up Chapter of the book "Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
For group members to share their thoughts and feelings with each other anonymously.

Group Size
8 or more is ideal

Materials

  • Paper

  • Pens or pencils

Description
     Give everyone a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Ask them to write down something specific on this piece of paper that you want them to share but that may be difficult to share, such as:
     How you feel when with this group?
     How are you feeling right now?
     What do you do when you become really angry?
     What makes you feel really sad?
     What are the strengths and weaknesses of this group?
Make sure nobody puts his/her name on the papers because everything should be anonymous. Once everyone has finished writing, tell the group that they will be having a snowball fight and to crumple up their papers and, on the count of three, start throwing. After the snowball fight has gone on for a while, yell “stop,” and ask each person to pick up one “snowball.” Gather the group together and ask group members to take turns reading the paper that they ended up with to the group. You may discuss each response that is read or wait until all the papers have been read before having a discussion.

Discussion Prompts
1.    What did you hear that surprised you?
2.    How do you feel about what people shared today?
3.    How did you feel about the way you shared your feelings?
4.    Does anyone want to comment on or add to what was said?

The Game of Life
(From the Open Up Chapter of the book More Team-Building Activities for Every Group)

 

Objective
To explore how people are feeling as individuals and as a part of the group.

Group Size
1 or more

Materials
Large sheet of green paper
White paper
Colored markers
Scissors

Description
     On a large sheet of green paper, draw a simple football field in the middle as if it were in the middle of a stadium. Give each person a piece of white paper and ask them to think of the person at a football game who best represents them. You may be specific and ask them to think of the person they are most like in terms of their relationship with God, with their family, when at work, when on this team, etc. The person selected can be anyone from a player or referee to a fan, peanut man, blimp driver, usher, owner, etc. Each person should draw their character, cut it out, and glue it to the paper in relation to where they think it should be. After everyone is finished, have them explain why they chose what they chose. 

Discussion Prompts
1.    What did you learn about yourself while doing this activity?
2.    What did you learn about the group or about other members of the group today?
3.    Do you like being the person you are in the game of life or is there someone else you wish you could be? Why?